It’s finally here: The inaugural Uncharted: the Berkeley Festival of Ideas is launching Friday morning and continuing in full force through Saturday night. The packed program of expert speakers, hands-on workshops, and provocative thinkers includes discussions on robots, race, plutocracy, and food justice – and that’s just a sampling. And there’s still time to register! Single-day and weekend passes are available online. And passes can also be bought on the door on Friday or Saturday morning — simply show up at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St. from 9am. The program begins at at 10:00am on Friday and 9:30am on Saturday. We’ll see you there.

VIDEO & FILM FESTIVAL For over two decades, the Berkeley Video & Film Festival has brought a thoughtful selection of independent and experimental films to the East Bay Media Center at 1939 Addison St. The event spans two weekends and this year’s features two U.S. premieres: One Night at the Aristo, a British film based on a William S. Burroughs story; and Abstract Alchemist of Flesh, a documentary about poet Michael McClure. Also showing for the first time in Berkeley is Revolution, a stunning film festival darling about endangered sharks and the threatened ecosystems they belong to. A full list of showings and ticket information is available on the festival’s website.

YIDDISH CULTURAL FESTIVAL  Stop kvetching about having nothing to do this weekend, and get your tuches to KlezCalifornia’s Yiddish Culture Festival. The two-day extravaganza is packed with performances and workshops by local and international musicians, dancers, actors and historians, including New York-based headliners the Strauss/Warschauer duo. There are activities for kids and after-parties for the parents. Tickets range from $4-$60. The festival takes place at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at 2121 Allston Way.

FREE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONCERT The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra concert on Oct. 27 is free, no strings attached – except those belonging to rising star Joshua Roman’s cello, that is. The concert features Roman performing a new concerto called “Dreamsongs” and Franz Haydn’s 100th symphony. The show begins at 3:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church at 2345 Channing Way.

TOUCH ME  “Touch Me” explores the tactile world of animals and robots through interdisciplinary interviews with experts on the molecular basis of touch, communication through touch, and engineering touch sensation for robots. Of course, an evening focusing on touch sensation wouldn’t be complete without some hands-on activities as well: participants will get a chance to run experiments on mutant worms that are non-responsive to touch, and — at their own risk — sip cocktails infused with tingling spices. “Touch Me” takes place on Oct. 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way. Tickets are $5 and must be purchased online.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

Ruth Moody: this wailin’ Jenny ain’t waiting around
Movie review: “Torn” a terrorist plot set in the East Bay

Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure you post your community happenings there too.

Natalie Orenstein

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...